Extra, Extra, Read All About It …and by "it" we mean everything that’s happening at your REALTOR® Board Office, in your Real Estate profession and in housing news throughout Berkshire County and beyond. This information is updated continually, and covers topics from your e-news notices, press releases, ProMatch Message Board, MAR, NAR and more - so keep checking back to keep up-to-date.
If you are looking for past news, please view our archives.
Fair housing testers are actively searching REALTOR.com:
There have been many lawsuits, but the most recent fair housing lawsuit was filed by a self proclaimed "fair housing tester" who was activiely searching REALTOR.com for listing remarks that violate fair housing laws, and filed discrimination LAWSUITS against both the listing agents and broker-owners for violations found. The most recent case was interesting, to say the least. To address the seriousness of this issue, we’ve developed three simple steps that you can take to protect your company, your agents and the public:
Learn About the Issue:What promoted this notice and details about the Fair Housing, Communications Decency and Digital Copyright Acts.
There were slight modifications to the data input screen in FlexMLS when entering a new listing, giving you the option of syndicating your listings to Realtor.com, iBerkshires and/or Point2 Partners (including Zillow, Trulia, AOL and over 80 partners). This keeps syndication in the hands of the seller / agent / broker for display where it is most effective. As always, the MLS Board is studying syndication issues as they emerge and encourage you to have a conversation in your office about the pros and cons of online marketing of all types. If you haven’t read the Clariety State of Syndication report yet, there is a direct link for some great information.
It is important to us to know if you’ve received and read this information. As the broker responsible for the office, we hope that the message is coming through and we are helping to protect your best interests. Please do us a favor and reply to this message to let us know you’ve received it… and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. We’d so appreciate that feedback!!
Scheduling Closing Dates: Message from M. Shepard
Are You Providing an Appropriate Amount of Time to Closing?
An open letter from Michael Shepard, Esquire:
I am repeatedly seeing requests for extensions on the financing contingency. There is a limited number of appraisors and the system is bottle necked right now. Keep in mind that, with the interest rate as low as it is, many current home owners are seeking to refinance. Consequently, the demand on appraisors and the bank underwiritng departments is pretty extreme. I have solicted a couple of bankers in the residential departments for some timeline guidelines for preparation of contract.
As a rule of thumb (absent an emergency), I would use 40 days for your financing contingency, and you have to allow 7-10 days after that for the bank's closing department and the buyer's lawyer to get the paperwork done in preparation for the closing. I think good business practice would be to identify the buyer's banker and pre-contract get some solid information on a timeline. Absent that, 40 days is probably the minimum.
As to the closing, once the person gets their commitment and clear to close, then the bank's closing department goes to work in conjunction with the buyer's lawyer. Closings cannot be scheduled until the buyer is clear to close. Some individuals are confused, saying that the person has a commitment and they are all set. There is another step "being clear to close". Many commitments today have conditions that must be satisified before the buyer is "clear". The closing cannot be scheduled until the buyer is "clear". The bottom line is you can't have your financing contigency on August 1st and your closing on August 2nd.
From the buyer's broker's point of view, they do not want to use artifically short dates. I believe that could expose that broker to a lawsuit if the financing contingency date is not met and the financing is ultimately denied, or the buyer gets commitment and clear but cannot schedule the closing to meet the contract closing date. Under either circumstance, the buyer's deposit is at risk, and nobody want to get sued.
Michael J. Shepard, P.C.
24/7 Online CE Class - December 31, 2012
Static Program, 4 credits available, FREE for REALTORS
REALTOR Members can access Massachusetts continuing education courses for free after logging in or creating a Learning Library account that includes a valid 9-digit NRDS (REALTOR membership) number. Click the event location link to be redirected to the FREE CE page on Learning Library.
Berkshire County Board of Realtors® -
99 West Street, Suite 200 Pittsfield, MA 01201-5845 413-442-8049 Sandra
J. Carroll, Chief Executive Officer - Sue
O'Brien, Member Services Admin - Kim Gritman, Office Clerk